What do I need to be eligible?
* Students who live in Wilkinsburg, graduate from Pittsburgh Public Schools, and meet all other requirements are eligible to receive Promise scholarships beginning with the graduating class of 2017.
**Students from the graduating class of 2021 will receive a one-time easement of GPA and attendance requirements. For details please see the press release.
Students who graduate from high school and meet the residency, enrollment, and attendance requirements, but have a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 2.0-2.49, are eligible to enroll in The Promise Extension program. These students must use their scholarships at CCAC or a Preferred College Partner, complete 18 credits per year, and maintain a 2.0 GPA. Those who complete a full year with an extension scholarship become fully Promise eligible and may enroll in any Pell-eligible post-secondary program in Pennsylvania. Eligible students may enroll anytime during the 5 years following high school graduation.
* Pittsburgh Online Academy is the only online/cyber high school that qualifies students for The Promise scholarship.
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and complete a full-time course load as defined by the school they attend, usually 12–16 credits. Check with your school for their definition of full-time. Academic progress will be reviewed by The Promise at the end of each school year. Part-time enrollment is not funded by The Promise. Students must complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year while in post-secondary before Promise can be processed.
If you’ve failed to meet continued eligibility, you can attend school without The Promise scholarship and earn the credits and/or GPA needed to be reinstated. Sometimes students are able to utilize their Promise scholarship for summer school. The funding of summer coursework is considered annually at The Promise’s March board meeting. If approved, students may access un-used Promise funds from their current year’s Promise award, but no more than one semester of funding, to pay for covered costs.
The 90% attendance requirement does not include excused absences for illness. If you have an exceptionality, work with your Transition Counselor (students with IEPs) or Guidance Counselor (students with 504 Plans) to make certain your attendance is properly recorded. Only unexcused absences count against Promise eligibility. Attendance is reported on report cards.
The Promise has a compassion appeal process to review exceptions to the enrollment requirement. Families or students may send a letter to The Promise explaining the reason for the interruption in enrollment when the student applies for the scholarship in their senior year of high school.
Pittsburgh Public Schools is responsible for reporting academic information to The Promise for each student. Your Transition Counselor (for students with IEPs) or your Guidance Counselor (for students with 504 Plans) will work with your school to determine your academic progress and translate it for Promise eligibility purposes.